Sunday, March 13, 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba Party!

E likes to pick out her themes early.  She picked Yo Gabba Gabba roughly 3 months after her 3rd birthday party and even though I kept telling her that we should wait and see till it got closer to her birthday, I have to give her credit, she stuck to her guns. I think by the time her 4th birthday rolled around, E wasn't even really watching YGG anymore, but she was still very insistent on this being the theme of her party.

In an effort to avoid my usual last minute scramble, I started making stuff for this party two months in advance. I had a brainstorm early on and decided I wanted to make a bunting out of felt with the Gabba faces on it.  Believe it or not, I actually got about 20 feet of bunting made before January was out!  I also ended up using the leftover felt (there was a TON) to make party hats too.  [At some point, I may try and put together a tutorial for the bunting, but it might be a while.]  Sadly, this momentum did not carry on for all of February.

I was also going to make favor bags with faces on them, but in the end, I couldn't resist these favor boxes from Birthday Express, which is apparently the only company that sells YGG party supplies.  I also ended up buying a pack of cardboard DJ Lance glasses that they had, with the idea that the kids or adults could wear them during the party, if they felt so inclined.  This led me to my second brilliant idea, which was to have Troy and I dress up as DJ Lance.  Ok, maybe not the whole outfit, but at least the shirts, which I ended up making with t-shirts from Hobby Lobby, felt, and fabric glue.  I tried like crazy to find DJ Lance hats that didn't come with a full costume, or even orange fun fur, but no dice.

I toyed with the idea of also ordering the official licensed character cupcake toppers, but eventually opted to order custom digital files from Etsy instead.  I had them printed out on cardstock at one of the big-box office supply stores and then used a scallopped 2-inch punch to cut them out.

I had originally planned on making a bunch of other things as well, including a bean bag toss game with Brobee and various food-shaped bean bags (Party in My Tummy!) but my plans were derailed when, about 2 weeks before the party, my sick grandmother took a turn for the worse, and I had to abruptly leave town to see her before she passed away.

By the time I got home, just days before the party, I was emotionally drained but managed to throw together E's Foofa outfit, which was pretty straightforward; felt eyes, nose & mouth fabric glued to a pink shirt. I lucked into a flower-shaped button to sew to the top, and the tutu was of the quickie tulle-strips-tied-around-elastic variety. I may or may not have conscripted the hubby into making the tutu. 

Overall, the party was a big hit! We played the two YGG soundtracks on repeat during most of the party, and the kids worked off their post-cupcake sugar rush with a dancey-dance party.  Fun was had by all!

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentine's Day stuff

For the first time ever, I'm on top of my crafting more than a week before the actual holiday!  Amazing!

I bought the Farbenmix Redondo skirt pattern a couple months ago and have been dying to try it out.  I'd originally planned on making E another broomstick-style Valentine's skirt, but then I figured why not give the new pattern a try?

Here it is, spread out in all its twirly glory:

I have to say, I have totally fallen in love with this pattern and cannot wait to make more. It's one of those patterns that looks like it was super complicated to make when actually it was quite simple.  I did make a couple small deviations from the original pattern though.  The original calls for you to cut out 5 panels.  Well, I wanted to alternate two different fabrics and did not want to have two of the same next to one another, so I decided to add one more panel. To try and compensate for the width of the extra panel, I left out the seam allowance (which was not included anyways) when I cut all the pieces.  I will say, cutting the spirals was a bit of a pain - easily the most difficult part - because you cannot fold your fabric over and cut two at a time.  I also ended up extending the waistband piece to accommodate the extra panel.  It's probably a tad big in the waist, but I figure no one will see that part anyway since it will be hidden under a shirt.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Holiday Sewing

Every year, I set lofty goals about all the handmade gifts I'm going to make for Christmas.  And every year, I start waaaayyy too late to get more than one or two done in time.  This year really wasn't all that different, but I somehow managed to crank out quite a few sewn gifts this year. Fourteen, to be exact.  Most of these were not exactly what I had planned, but that's besides the point.

In a vain attempt to give me a reason to use up my giant fabric stash, I've been on a bit of a pattern-buying spree the last few months.  I decided to use some of my more recent purchases from Bit Of Whimsy to make gifts for some of E's little friends.  As a side note, I love her patterns.  They are relatively inexpensive, very straight-forward and easy enough for beginners. 

Her newest pattern line is called Wittle Whimsys and they are small stuffed animals.  Super adorable.  I bought the elephant/mouse set and decided to make most of the younger kids I know. 


I used this as an opportunity to knock down some of my unnecessarily huge stash of flannel (from when I WAY overbought at a Black Friday sale several years ago).  Their arms and legs are made of felt.  I will say, making these tiny dolls was probably as time consuming as larger ones, mainly because there was so much cutting of tiny arms, legs, and ears involved.  I initially dreaded embroidering the faces on, and I even toyed with the idea of using buttons for the eyes instead, but then I got all paranoid about choking, plus I didn't care for how the buttons looked.  I will say though, once I got going on the embroidery, I was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed it!  It's actually making me think about taking up embroidery.  Because, you know, I don't have enough hobbies going on.  Heh.

Anyways, I also decided to make bigger Whimsy dolls for my nieces, E and a few of her closer friends.  A couple of these were ones I actually started last year (had all cut out and everything) and never finished.  Oops.  Yeah, I suck.  But better late than never, right?

Here is a big sister/little sister set:


Another "Butterbean" baby doll (these were incredibly fast and easy to make - definitely going to file it away in the back of my mind for a quickie gift)
Bunny dolls

And a couple Christmas-themed dolls


I also made a few gifts for my friends.  I originally had the brilliant idea of making hostess aprons for everyone, but I only got one done before I simply ran out of time.  I do love how this one turned out though. 

And for a few of you reading this, try to act surprised when an apron randomly shows up on your doorstep in the next month or so. ;)

One of my friends had asked me a while back to make her a simple drawstring bag to carry her knitting around in.  I decided to add a matching knitting needle roll as a bonus.


I have to say, I'm quite proud of how many things I managed to make, and all in the span between when we returned from our Thanksgiving trip on Dec. 1, and when we left again on Dec. 18, no less.  But next year, I'm starting in July.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Burn out

I think Halloween totally burned me out on crafting, and maybe blogging too.  It's been forever since I've posted, but believe it or not, I have still been making stuff.  Just been too lazy to edit and upload pics so I could blog.  Plus we were out of town for long stretches over both Thanksgiving AND Christmas/New Year's...and well, you get the picture.  Enough with the excuses, on to the crafts!

Like I mentioned, I haven't been totally idle, but I did take a long break from sewing after making all those costumes.  Instead, I decided to get back into knitting.  A little lower stress, and bonus points for being able to do it on the couch, in front of the TV. ;)  First up, a newborn hat that I made for a friend's new baby boy.  Photo by bernadette uzcategui photography.

 The baby's father loved the hat so much that he requested a matching hat of his own, hee.  So not only did I make one for him, but I also made a headband/headwarmer in the same colorways for the mom.

Next up, a hat for myself!  I took a quick trip to Philadelphia one weekend to visit a friend, and we went to one of my favorite yarn stores there, Nangellini. The owner, Nancy, is so wonderfully friendly (and she even remembered me from my last visit, a year ago!), I highly recommend checking it out if you're ever in the area.  I couldn't resist this yummy Ushya wool yarn and knit up a 'holey' hat, stranded with some Noro yarn for texture.


Of course, I also had to make a newborn hat for my new niece!  I love that this sort of looks like a candy cane.


And here she is modeling it at Thanksgiving.  :)  Forgive the blur, this was hastily snapped with my phone.
I also knit up a cocoon to take pictures of her in, but sadly, she was already too big (and active) for it.


Another baby hat. This time I experimented with a sort of twisted rib pattern. 

I'm not sure if I like how it turned out; I think it sort of looks like a head of lettuce, lol.  It looks slightly better when the bottom edge is turned up a bit.  Apologies for the creepy doll-model.  I don't have quick access to any tiny babies these days. 
Since the weather has finally gotten colder, I also knit up a quickie scarf for E.  She picked the yarn herself. I tried to hold back my gag reflex. I used a basic basketweave pattern, K4, P4 for 4 rows and then switch.

She got all goofy and uncooperative when I asked her to actually model the darn thing.  Ah, 3-year-olds.


Next up, holiday crafting! :D


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